Friday. I was notified on Friday that it would be the last day of school for awhile. I felt completely unprepared and knew I couldn't fully prep packets for my students before the end of the day. Additionally, I only had three students there total. I did the best I could to prepare and notified my parents I was creating packets, but they would not be completed until Monday. I spent all weekend preparing, so my students could continue to learn from home.
All of my students come from low income homes where paying just the basic bills can be a struggle.
Almost none of my students have access to the internet other than on a parent's phone. Although packets were delivered, I knew it would not be enough for these students. They need more than paper pencil activities. They need to grow and socialize with other students, breathe and play in the fresh air, have a consistent schedule, and know that no matter what, there will be food to get them through the day. Most of all they need the love and care I provide in the classroom.
When you wake up hungry, usually the first thing you do before starting the day is eat breakfast. You expect this breakfast to hold you over until snack then again until lunch which can continue until the end of the day. You know if you are hungry, there will be food available. What happens where there is no food? How would you feel if you only have have a small amount of juice and a piece of fruit to get you until lunch? Imagine not having food even for lunch.
All of my students' families are below poverty and now struggle with getting the amount of food needed to feed their family.
Before the virus, the students were being served breakfast, lunch, and snack at school. Now, the parents are needed to provide these at home in addition to supper.
Most of my parents live from paycheck to paycheck. Now many, no longer have a paying job. Most struggle to get food from a food pantry or donation site as they do not have the transportation to the sites. Some, who do have transportation, do not have the availability during the times the pantry is open as they are working. I want to provide snacks to my students to help them focus on their learning at home. Research tells us, when a child has a full belly, they can focus better and retain more information on what they are learning.
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